Identifying Arabic-Language Materials for Children That Promote Tolerance and Critical Thinking

by Gail L. Zellman, Jeffrey Martini, Michal Perlman


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Posted 04-08-2011.

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Building a society that supports and values the production, diffusion, and application of new knowledge and the expression of new ideas is critical for human development. This report is part of a broader effort to identify and disseminate materials whose messages encourage tolerance and support the development and use of critical thinking skills in the Arabic–speaking world. It focuses on identifying Arabic language materials targeted to children ages 4–14. A focus on children, whose ideas are still being developed, may be more effective in promoting tolerance and critical thinking than efforts directed toward adults, whose attitudes are already established or in place. The authors describe the creation of developmentally appropriate criteria used to identify and screen indigenous Arabic-language works for children that promote tolerance and critical thinking. They also describe the characteristics of the materials that were found and present several examples of works that met criteria. They also discuss barriers that prevent the development and dissemination of more such works, and suggest ways to address and overcome these barriers.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    The Development and Expression of Tolerance and Critical Thinking in Children Ages 4-14

  • Chapter Three

    Development of Screening Criteria

  • Chapter Four

    The Materials Search Process and Description of the Collection

  • Chapter Five

    Summary and Future Directions

  • Appendix A

    Research on the Teaching of Tolerance and Critical Thinking

  • Appendix B

    Table of Relevant Skills by Age

  • Appendix C

    Coding Manual and Coding Form

The research described in this report was prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). The research was conducted within the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by OSD, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.

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